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Basement Waterproofing: Top 10 Things Not to Do

Now that the winter snow has all melted and springtime rainstorms are just about over, you’re probably letting out a sigh of relief that your basement survived another season of potential flooding and you didn’t need to call an expert. With the dog days of summer and hot, dry temperatures just around the corner, you’re probably packing up your sand toys and heading to the beach. Not so fast!

Just because you can’t see evidence of waterproofing problems in your basement at the moment doesn’t mean there aren’t any in your future. So you don’t become a statistic and join the thousands of Toronto and GTA residents that experience losses due to basement flooding, take a look at these top 10 things not to do:

Think your basement can’t flood in the summer

While the summer season is generally dry, you can’t ignore the moisture problems that may still exist. The biggest concern? Condensation. Summer days and nights often include humidity. Combine moisture in the air with hydrostatic pressure from underground water and you could have a recipe for disaster.

The solution? Running a dehumidifier will reduce mustiness and help prevent mould and mildew growth.

condensation

Ignore the signs

Often, there are subtle signs of trouble that might be easy to ignore or push off as unimportant. Use your senses to observe small changes in your basement.

  • Watch for new wall or floor cracks. Repairs can be easily made with epoxy injection or clay filler before major leaks occur.
  • Listen to your sump pump as it operates. An unusually loud motor – or one that doesn’t shut off after a minute or two – may be signs it’s time to replace it. Clean out debris, make sure the float is working and flush foul odours away with a solution of one part bleach with five parts water.
These cracks are easily identifiable, but others not so much. Have a waterproofing expert walk the perimeter of your home.

These cracks are easily identifiable, but others not so much. Have a waterproofing expert walk the perimeter of your home.

Don’t prepare

Basement waterproofing is only as good as the power that operates it. Preparing for power outages may save your home from disaster. Installing a battery back-up system or high-water alert on your home security system will help avoid water overflow if the power goes down. Pumping capacity ranges from 2,100 to 3,000 gallons per hour and are a wise investment.

Installing a backwater valve is essential for preventing sewage from entering your home through lateral back-ups. During high-pressure situations, the valve is designed to close and protect your home from sewer water seepage. Thinking ahead to prevent this potential problem will give you peace of mind and reduce flooding risk.

high-water

Don’t know how to install a backwater valve? That’s no problem. Our plumbing contractors can give you a hand with that!

Make changes to grade

Over years of adding decorative flowerbeds, pools, decks and patios to your property, the original grade may have been altered. Settling and gutter overflow can also allow water to lie along the foundation walls, finding its way into your basement. To allow for proper drainage, the ground should slope away from the house approximately six inches over 10 feet. Installing gutter diverters to take roof water away from the house will also reduce flooding risk.

Grading provides proper drainage outdoors.

Grading provides proper drainage outdoors.

Use the wrong products

Finished basements are very popular today, but care must be used when selecting the right products for below-grade use. Adding fiberglass insulation, standard drywall or hardwood flooring is the fastest way to trap moisture and cause serious mould issues. Always be sure to use closed cell spray foam insulation, below-grade drywall and flooring materials that are recommended for the lower level of your home.

A combination of the right basement products will ensure a dry, safe basement. A basement renovation expert will know what you need!

A combination of the right basement products will ensure a dry, safe basement. A basement renovation expert will know what you need!

If you’re not sure what finishings should go into your newly renovated basement, then contact a basement renovation specialist on our directory! That’s their specialty and they’ll be able to advise what should go into your basement.

Forget to clean

Relaxing at the beach is so much more fun than cleaning out your gutters and window wells, but it has to be done. It may not be on the top of your to-do list, but remembering to remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts will prevent overflow. Cleaning out window wells and keeping storm sewer grates clear will also prevent back-ups.

When gutters are clogged, the water has nowhere to go except inside your basement. Keep them clear!

When gutters are clogged, the water has nowhere to go except inside your basement. Keep them clear!

Continue bad habits

Old habits are hard to break, but can help save thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements. Stop pouring grease down sink drains, put a lint catcher over laundry hoses, clean hair clippings out of sinks and discard in the trash, and make sure foreign objects don’t get flushed down toilets.

Don’t do maintenance

Regular maintenance tasks will provide lasting effects.

  • Seal basement windows with caulking and weatherstripping;
  • Maintain sewer laterals;
  • Clean out drains regularly to reduce build-up.
What's a sewer lateral, anyway? Take a look at this guide.

What’s a sewer lateral, anyway? Take a look at this guide.

Put off repairs

When temperatures rise and the sun is shining, it’s easy to avoid spending money on basement repairs. Putting them off until it’s cold and rainy will only add to your potential waterproofing problems. Fix cracks, add drain tile and re-seal foundation walls long before a problem arises.

Conduct repairs around your home to prevent basement leaks.

Conduct repairs around your home to prevent basement leaks.

These problems can easily be fixed with the help of a waterproofing expert. What are you waiting for? Take a look at our extensive directory of waterproofing specialists.

Don’t call for help

No matter how proactive you are with basement waterproofing, there may come a time when you need some professional advice. Waterproofing experts can provide high-quality service at an affordable price any time you need just a little extra help.

What are you waiting for? Take a look at our extensive directory of waterproofing specialists. Read through customer reviews and take a look at their profiles for pictures and videos. These resources will help you in hiring an expert.

More in Basement Waterproofing

Basement leak? Your ultimate guide to waterproofing the issue

Foundation cracks and basement leaks? You need waterproofing



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